Conscripted by the Bulgars to fight the Abares, he escapes and arrives in Lisbon, in time for the catastrophic earthquake and to be flogged and hanged by the Inquisition.
Born Francois-Marie Arouet French philosopher, essayist, dramatist, historian, poet, critic, and autobiographer. The following entry provides an overview of Voltaire's life and works.
See also Candide Criticism.
The eighteenth century is often called the Age of Enlightenment, but it is just as often called the Age of Voltaire—in the minds of many intellectual historians, the two are synonymous. Voltaire wrote in many genres, excelling at several, but in the modern era he is best remembered for his connections with the theater, his philosophical works, and his contes—short adventure stories dramatizing philosophical issues.
The most famous of these is Candidea satire of G. Leibniz's philosophy of optimism, which examined the reality and absurdity of human suffering. He attracted many admirers as well as many critics; his open anticlerical stance was particularly controversial and led to many of his works being censored.
He was a Deist for much of his life, and was skeptical of most established political and religious institutions, though he strove for objectivity in his writings.
Although exiled from Paris more than once, by the end of his life he was generally celebrated as one of France's greatest thinkers. The values for which he fought most vigorously—freedom and progress—have become basic assumptions underlying modern Western civilization.
He was so weak at birth that he was not expected to live, and was ill and hypochondriacal much of his life.
Biographers have suggested that the young Francois-Marie made up for a feeble body by developing a lively mind; even as a student he was known for his brilliance, wit, and impulsive nature.
His sister and mother, with whom he was quite close, died when he was young, and he and his brother parted ways over the issue of religious tolerance. Thus, even in his adolescence, Francois-Marie developed a strong foundation for the philosophy he would espouse as Voltaire. After completing school, Francois-Marie planned to pursue a career as a poet, but his father intervened, sending him to Holland to work for the French ambassador.
After writing a poem lampooning the regent Phillipe d'Orleans, he was exiled from Paris, though he later pleaded successfully for his return. InFrancois-Marie again mocked the regent in verse, but instead of being exiled he was sent to the Bastille for a year.
While there, he wrote one of his greatest poems: The poem was not published untiland was then printed secretly. After his release from prison in April he began his long association with the theater. The production of his Oedipe in November of that year was a tremendous critical and financial success.
Inhe visited Lord Bolingbroke, an influential English writer, beginning a connection with English intellectuals that served him well throughout his lifetime. As his reputation grew, he became a favorite with royalty, accepting substantial gifts from the kings of England and France, but even this did not protect him from attack.
When a love triangle formed between Voltaire, the actress Adrienne Lecouvreur, and the chevalier de Rohan-Chabot, the chevalier had Voltaire beaten by lackeys while Voltaire was a guest of the duke de Sully. When the duke did nothing to help him, he challenged the chevalier to a duel, but when the chevalier moved to have Voltaire arrested, Voltaire arranged for exile in England instead.
During this period Voltaire also tried writing in English, publishing the Essay on Civil Wars and the Essay on Epic Poetry and releasing a revision of his poem on Henry IV as The Henriade, a tremendous popular success which he dedicated to the English queen.
He returned to France secretly, remaining in hiding until he could obtain permission to stay in Paris. He also returned to the theater, with successful performances of Brutus and Zayre In his Letters Concerning the English Nationthe fruits of his time in Enland became apparent; his essays on English writers including Francis Bacon, Isaac Newton, Locke, and Shakespeare—and on religious differences—celebrated the openness of the English monarchy and English society.
In France, the book was burned and the publisher jailed. Voltaire soon opted to leave Paris again, moving in with his friend and lover Mme. Together they studied and wrote for nearly fifteen years: Their relationship as lovers waned as Voltaire began a new affair, a scandalous relationship with his young niece, Mme.In , Age of Enlightenment leader Francois-Marie Arouet, known as Voltaire, was born in Paris.
Jesuit-educated, he began writing clever verses by the age of He launched a lifelong, successful playwriting career in , interrupted by imprisonment in the Bastille/5. Voltaire's public satire of the President of the Royal Academy of Sciences of Berlin published in late , which presented Maupertuis as a despotic philosophical buffoon, forced Frederick to make a choice.
Science Fiction, succinctly defined, is a literary genre generally characterized in form as a world of exaggerated drama which argues a social commentary using current scientific knowledge as its evidence. From the emergence in the 18th century of modern Science Fiction to the 'birth of the.
From the 18th century, Voltaire's Micromegas, in its highly ironical form, is a perfect demonstration of the time's combination of satire and alienation; while from the 19th century, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus, is a parody of gothic literature and of Oedipus Rex. In Voltaire, the Enlightenment and the Comic Mode, edited by Maxine G.
New York: Peter Lang, [In this essay, Brumfitt examines Voltaire's writings to and about royal. Ancient and early modern precursors. There are a number of ancient or early modern texts including a great many epics and poems that contain fantastical or "science-fictional" elements, yet were written before the emergence of science fiction as a distinct genre.